By Logsdon M.I.
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Extra resources for A Mathematician Explains
Such a definition might thus make some reference to the fact that the content of those belief-systems commonly deemed to be ‘religious’ are characterised by their positing of a relationship between the natural world and the supernatural. In the case of my respondents, for example, their concern with the ‘supernatural’ primarily focuses upon the concept of revelation, notions of judgement and the after-life, and the idea that it is possible to have a personal relationship with God. Berger has developed an understanding of religion - which he himself describes as a substantive definition - which combines his concern with man’s need for meaning with an acknowledgement of the supernatural character of specifically religious belief-systems.
While it is important to be cautious in generalising from these case-studies, I shall here give a brief summary of some of the ways in which, according to this literature, religion appears to be motivating young Pakistani and other Muslims in this country. I shall do so by highlighting four broad themes which are regularly discussed by other researchers and which, since they tally with the findings of my study, will be explored in detail in Chapters 6 and 7. Learning to be Muslims A number of researchers have found that a growing minority of young Muslims are developing an active interest in the study of their religion.
In fact, some of the writers who assert the significance of postmodern identities do recognise that not all individuals wish to make the most of the ‘multiplicity of subject positions and potential identities’ to which they have access in the ‘post“wide-open” world’: that many social actors, in the face of the modern, uncertainties of this new world, display a tendency to retreat to the old securities of traditional allegiances (Rutherford 1990: 24). Robertson describes the ‘almost globally institutionalised nostalgia’ that is a product of contemporary processes of globalisation (1990: 55).